Realtor® Award Finalists Selected for Commitment to Improving Communities
WASHINGTON (August 27, 2013) – Realtors® are integral to successful communities, supporting causes large and small and volunteering their time to help improve the lives of those who call those communities home. The National Association of Realtors® recognized 10 Realtors® today as finalists for REALTOR® Magazine’s 2013 Good Neighbor Awards.
This year marks the 14th year the Good Neighbor Awards program has recognized Realtors® who improve the quality of life in their communities through volunteer work. The Realtors® acknowledged by this program over the years donate their time, money and passion to create a positive impact on others and address critical needs in their community.
In October five winners will be selected from among the 10 finalists to receive national media exposure and a $10,000 grant for their community cause. Winners will also receive travel expenses to the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco, where they will accept their awards at a presentation in front of thousands of their peers. The five honorable mentions will receive a $2,500 grant. The winners will be featured in the November/December issue of REALTOR® Magazine.
“The Good Neighbor Awards signify the dedication and passion Realtors® have for helping others in need,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif. “These 10 Realtors® are not only a tremendous example to others for their dedication and passion, but also they remind us that Realtors® build communities in myriad ways. I am proud to honor them and look forward to helping them grow their efforts.”
The 10 REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Awards finalists are:
Brenda Breit, The Empowered Team, LLC, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Since 2008, Breit has been rescuing pets that were abandoned as a result of evictions, foreclosures and financial hardship. She and her daughter formed Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, which provides shelter for up to 80 animals, a pet food bank, and a spay/neuter voucher program and also helps pet owners find pet-friendly rentals. A tireless advocate who has recruited more than 100 Realtors® to volunteer, Breit has helped rescue more than 2,200 abandoned pets and reunited 250 pets with their owners.
Brad Coleman, Metro Estates, Newport Beach, Calif.
Coleman serves Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County (BBBSOC), which matches children facing adversity with an adult mentor who can provide a positive long-term influence. As a BBBSOC board member and chair of the Orange County Association of Realtors®’ Young Professionals Network, Coleman promotes the merits of the mentor program, recruits mentors, and enrolls business sponsors. He was instrumental in raising $150,000, and his personal donations and event sponsorships last year funded 13 mentorship matches for youth, many of whom are at risk for dropping out of school, using drugs or alcohol, or getting into trouble with the law. In 2012, BBBSOC served more than 2,050 kids, with 100 percent of the high school seniors graduating on time and 93 percent going to college.
Susanne Crenshaw, Keller Williams of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Okla.
For 19 years, Crenshaw has shaped and improved the futures of the elderly and handicapped by providing daytime care and relieving the burden on caregivers. She is the former volunteer president of Daily Living Centers Inc., which is the largest adult day healthcare program in Oklahoma, providing 934 participants with self-sufficiency, dignity and hope, and helping delay or prevent placement in nursing homes. Crenshaw spearheaded fundraising efforts to fund the construction of two new facilities and launched a daily transportation service.
Kenneth W. Davis, Welcome Home Realty, Boca Raton, Fla.
As a long-time member of The Rotary Club of Boca Raton, Davis has spent more than two decades reaching out to underprivileged youth. Over the past two years, he raised more than $100,000 for Tomorrow’s Promise Community School, a county charter school for at-risk students. He also mentors students at the school and helps them obtain college scholarships. A long-time supporter of the Cat Island Orphanage in the Bahamas, he has inspired members of the Palm Beach State College Rotaract Club to volunteer and spearhead fundraisers for the children. Last year, Davis inspired the college students to donate a truck to the orphanage, create a pen pal program and raise money for Christmas gifts.
Bernice Helman, Coldwell Banker Troy Helman Realtors®, Terre Haute, Ind.
For 18 years, Helman has served the United Way of the Wabash Valley, an organization dedicated to achieving community-wide change by improving the education, income and health of its residents. Her community was dealt a hard blow when a large pharmaceutical company left, taking with it jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate donations. Helman overcame the challenge through her tireless efforts, which included reaching out to solicit donations from rural counties that typically had only received donations, resulting in the United Way surpassing its fundraising goal of $1.8 million last year.
Nick Manis, Manis Realtors®, South Brunswick, N.J.
Following the death of a close friend in Iraq, Manis co-founded the GI Go Fund, a nonprofit that helps returning veterans transition back to civilian life. His experience as a Realtor® has enabled him to tackle critical issues—getting homeless veterans off the street and preventing homelessness among veterans and their families who face foreclosure and eviction. Manis frequently conducts midnight missions during which he and a team of volunteers visit bus stations, train stations and other places that the homeless gather to provide food, clothing and emergency assistance.
Tina McDonough, RE/MAX Select, Renton, Wash.
As captain of the Valley Girls & Guys! 3-Day Team, McDonough has raised more than $1.4 million to raise awareness and fund research for breast cancer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Starting with a team of four walkers in 2007, McDonough has grown the team to more than 168 walkers and become the number-one fundraising team in the U.S. The 3-Day Team gives cancer survivors a place to feel at home and as part of a second family while taking their next step into surviving and celebrating life. Because of McDonough’s passion and commitment, 75 percent of her walkers return each year.
Rebecca Moniz, Weichert, Realtors® Cress & Company, East Greenwich, R.I.
Moniz supports military families through The Rhode Island Military Family Programs by bringing together resources that help service members and their families with housing-related needs during and after deployment. She co-founded the Realtors® Troop Support Task Force at the Rhode Island Association of Realtors®, which has educated more than 1,300 service members about homeownership, loan modifications, refinancing scams and tax assessments. She also raised money to train teachers and guidance counselors to identify and treat deployment-related behavioral problems in children whose parents are serving overseas.
Joel Pratt, J.L. Pratt Realtors®, Canton, Mass.
In nine years, Pratt has raised more than $1 million for MatchingDonors.com, a nonprofit website that connects patients who need organs with living donors. With MatchingDonors.com, patients’ wait time has been cut from 7-10 years for a deceased donor organ to an average of six months for a living donor. As the director of business development, Pratt raises money by seeking out donations such as cars, boats, real estate and corporate surplus and sells them for cash. To date, more than 500 people have had successful transplants.
Kristina Rhodes, F.C. Tucker Emge Realtors®, Newburgh, Ind.
Rhodes is a dedicated volunteer and visionary with Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength and joy. A trailblazer in her region, Rhodes is credited with spearheading the Make-A-Wish mission in an area of the country where it wasn’t well known, and since then, helping make wishes come true for 80 children. She has engaged hundreds of local supporters and corporate sponsors who have raised more than $400,000 dollars. She also launched the first regional council in the area, which has become a model for the Make-A-Wish organization to use throughout the country.
REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards is sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Nominees were judged on their personal contribution of time as well as financial and material contributions to benefit their cause. To be eligible, nominees must be NAR members in good standing. More information about the Good Neighbor Awards finalists is available at www.nar.realtor/gna.
Liberty Mutual Insurance is one of the world’s leading and most trusted insurance carriers. For more than 100 years, their mission has been to provide comprehensive, quality insurance products that help their customers live safer, more secure lives. Liberty Mutual has worked hard to develop personal insurance programs that provide long-term benefits to their customers, and constantly strives to improve their products and services. Equally important, is their legacy of working for the public good through philanthropy, safety research, and educational outreach. For that reason, Liberty Mutual is proud to be the 2013 and 2014 primary sponsor of REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards, expanding their partnership with the National Association of Realtors®. For more than a decade, as part of the REALTOR Benefits® Program, Liberty Mutual has been NAR’s exclusive partner for auto, home and renters insurance. Through this program NAR members are eligible to receive special savings and insurance benefits.
National Association of Realtors, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.